Is Your Brand Health Measurement Fit For The Future

Published Jun 14, 2021

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Consumer mindsets and behavior have been evolving rapidly over the last decade, and the global pandemic has acted as a catalyst with many of us having to improvise and learn new habits which we may never unlearn, and which may evolve further in years to come.

At this time of huge change, we are hearing from many marketing and insights leaders that their brand health metrics have become unresponsive and are often delivered far too late for any meaningful action. They are looking for a more agile approach to brand health measurement; to enable more timely and impactful decisions that keep them ahead of the competition.

Traditional brand models are based on measuring past or current successes. In our view, brands must continually develop product or service innovations to address future needs, demonstrating how integral they are to our lives. Brands like Zoom and Peloton have emerged from niche market usage to become household names in the past 12 months by capitalizing on heightened relevance. Service providers like Netflix and Amazon have expanded or adapted their offer to take advantage.

Successful brands also have consumers who are excited about the brand. In the past, we might have queued around the block or even overnight to be first to try a new device … in the last 12 months, it’s been more about making sure we don’t miss the delivery guy by scheduling a work meeting for the wrong time!

And brands need to build a community, creating an environment where consumers are encouraged to suggest how it can improve, and where brands work with consumers to find solutions. Lego Ideas is a great example here, empowering members to submit ideas for new products that can ultimately make it to market with the original designer receiving a percentage of the royalties.

The hi brands model that we have developed at Harris Interactive in partnership with Aston Business School enables organisations to measure and monitor how brands are performing in a more holistic way.

Here’s an example from a study that we ran on the Mobile Network Operators category in March 2021. We interviewed a nationally representative sample of 1,000 UK adults with the survey set-up and fielded in a matter of hours on our Toluna Start platform.

  • Brands are plotted on a vertical axis which shows brand strength according to traditional metrics such as knowledge and equity.
  • The horizontal axis shows the extent to which brands will be relevant to the target audience in future.
  • And the third element we take into account is brand vitality – which is represented by the size of the bubbles.

We categories brands into four groups based on these three measures. Please note that we are looking at a broad national picture here … things may well look different if we were to focus on different audience segments, as many of these brands do, of course.

COMPELLING brands feature in the upper right quadrant. These are well-known brands that have been around a while and still have high future relevance and vitality.

  • EE and O2 occupy this territory right now … both have been innovative with the communications during the pandemic by moving away from a ‘benefits’ approach to focus more on the brand itself. This has paid dividends in their positioning.

CHALLENGING brands are found in the lower right quadrant. These are well placed to disrupt the status-quo … and usually relatively new to the category. Consumer knowledge of these brands is low right now, but they often possess high levels of vitality and are extremely relevant to the target audience in terms of their future needs.

  • Several virtual operators feature in this space with VOXI and SMARTY strongest on future relevance. All have very strong vitality – driven by great excitement and strong community advocacy – but have a long way to go to achieve national notoriety.

BUILDING brands are in the lower left quadrant. These have low brand equity coupled with low future relevance, and their vitality scores also tend to be weaker.

  • Other virtual operators, including Sky Mobile and Tesco Mobile, have occupied a challenging positioning in previous years of our study, but have suffered this time at the hands of newer entrants, perhaps due to not adapting their messaging, to the same extent, during the pandemic.

STRONG brands sit in the upper left quadrant with high brand equity and knowledge, but relatively low levels of future relevance.

  • Vodafone and Three are both well known to consumers … but need to differentiate themselves to become more future relevant.

Agile and efficient solutions, like the Brand Health Measurement example featured in this blog are being increasingly embraced by the largest and most successful organizations in the world, to enable faster, more impactful decisions that will future-proof their brands so they remain ahead of the curve.

You can learn more from watching our on-demand webinar here.

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